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Stay with AMD or Jump Ship?

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February 14, 2008 4:54:35 PM

Have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ system with 1GB of DDR2-667. Want to upgrade and weighing my options. My easiest upgrade path would be straight to a 6400+ and 4GB of Corsair DDR2-800. This would cost about $225 after the mail-in rebate on the memory. I will throw in an 8800GT or 8800GTS regardless of the CPU and memory, so I am not weighing that.

But, I am concerned that the 6400+ is not the best bang for my buck. I could go alternate route, which would involve an Asus P5-NE and either an E2160 overclocked to 3.0GHz or an E8400 overclocked to 4.0GHz, same memory. This would be quite a bit more expensive, but all of the benchmarks that I can find suggest that either one of these systems (particularly the E8400) would be in a completely different class than the 6400+.

The end result that I am looking for is a system that will be "future proof" for at least the next 2-3 years. My feeling is that the E8400 Wolfsdale with 4GB will be all the power that I can use and then some until the next major release of Winblows. The P5-NE supports Core2Duo Quad chips as well, so I could always pop in a Q6600 or one of its successors with a BIOS flash later on. I just don't see the 6400+ keeping up with the curve. Is my thinking wrong?

More about : stay amd jump ship

a c 127 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b } Memory
February 14, 2008 4:58:49 PM

You're thinking is not wrong. My personaly opinion is to go with the Q6600 as it will better future proof your system since its a quad core and in the next 2-3 years you will see games and programs take advantage of the extra cores.

Plus with the Q6600 you can OC it to 3GHz easily. Now the E8400 is a monster if you want to game. But for future proof it might not be the best choice although right now for gaming it rocks the socks.

I had the same delema but in the end decided on the Q6600 over the E6700. Then again I always like bigger number when it comes to my PC hardware such as 2-4GB memory or 1Tb HDD space.
February 14, 2008 5:01:40 PM

A dual core might be stretching it for three years out when hopefully software will be more multithreaded.

If your motherboard is capable of a Phenom, I'd wait for B3 and drop one of those puppies in there.
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February 14, 2008 5:02:26 PM

Well, yes and no. The 6400+ wouldn't be a terrible choice. And the way things are going in the PC game dev world, each new title negates the term "future proof". Too many games are focusing on eye candy and less on content. So it really depends on what you play, or which app you use.

The Intel systems are indeed faster, and definitely show it on benchmarking. However, as always, your choice of GPU will reflect more on gaming performance than CPU choice.

The next gen Intel systems will not be LGA 775 anyway, so at most, you'd be able to toss in one of the 45nm quads as your best proc down the road.

Future proofing a system has gotten very hard in the past few years.

In the end though, I'd have to agree that the Wolfie would be your best bet if it falls within your budget.

Good luck with your build! :) 
a b à CPUs
February 14, 2008 5:05:54 PM


Hi John

Before I start, I will state that I am not biased towards any manufacturer of processor....

I am biased to which manufacturer makes the better processor at this moment in time....


If you want to future proof your self for the next 3 to 4 years I would recommend going for a Quad core processor...

Within a few weeks availability of the 9300 and 9450 quad will be here and they will not cost that much more than the E8400 ( well the 9300 will anyway ).

Go for one of those....

There is a new version of the 8800GTS which has the amazing GT updated with a 1Gb of memory which i believe runs faster than the GTX card costing normally 200 dollars plus more.... do not buy the old gts as the gt is a faster card...

the next thing is to think about your hard disk, a 500gb 16mb cache Western Digital ( the best in my opinion of all the manufacturers ) will put the cherry on top of the cake..

The 6400 processor is based on old technology and dont be supprised if the socket changes on AM and AM2 for a AM3 as ddr 3 is on its way to be the norm within the next year....


Go for either a Asus or a Gigabyte p35 ds series motherboard you wont be disapointed as they are great overclockers..

All the best
February 14, 2008 5:20:06 PM

If youre looking for bang for the buck, pickup the 5000+BE and OC it to 3 or 3.2
February 14, 2008 5:42:49 PM

ragemonkey said:
If youre looking for bang for the buck, pickup the 5000+BE and OC it to 3 or 3.2


I agree with this completely. The 5000+ BE is cheaper, overclocks better, runs cooler, and uses less power. I've seen overclocks as high as 3.5 ghz on air with the 5000+ BE, so it has the potential, though keep in mind that just because a few made it that high, not all will.
February 14, 2008 5:48:38 PM

You're not going to be future proof for the next 2-3 years no matter what you buy. Take note of the trendlines on SSD's. Within 2 years it will cost $300 for blazingly fast SSD RAID performance. So much so that an athlon X2 4600 with these drives installed will feel faster than a 4GHz E8400. Anyone who knows anything can tell you that its better to have a X2 4600 and a 7200 rpm HDD than a E6750 @ 3.4GHz with a 5400 rpm HDD.

Also, you have the new chips on the horizon with triple channel memory...
February 14, 2008 5:50:12 PM

Yeah, the 5000+ BE is better than the 6400+, at least bang for buck. It OC's very easily, and is cooler than the 6400+.

Also, check to see if your board has compatibility for Phenom/AM2+ procs, as that'd allow you to get a tri-core or quad-core Phenom eventually, it just won't use its HT3, but I'm not sure how much that'll matter in overall performance.
February 14, 2008 6:00:35 PM

Regarding the CPU, I wouldn't upgrade from an X2 to an X2. Your 4200+ is probably capable of a 2.6 - 2.8GHz overclock itself, which isn't that far off from an X2 6400+ @ 3.2GHz. You should definitely upgrade the RAM though, 1GB really is insufficient nowadays, especially if you intend to run Vista, but you probably already knew that anyway. ;) 

I wouldn't bother with an E21x0 in your case either, again, even overclocked to 3GHz it wouldn't be that much faster than your X2 4200+ overclocked to 2.6 - 2.8GHz to be worth the expense of completely changing the platform.

The real 'step up' in performance (as in actually noticeable in real world usage, not just 10% differences in benchmarks) would be the E8400 of course, overclocked to 4GHz it truly is a league above all the other options currently available. It has the potential to effectively double the performance of an X2 4200+, of course all this performance will come at a cost as you know.
February 14, 2008 6:35:35 PM

Hellboy said:


The 6400 processor is based on old technology and dont be supprised if the socket changes on AM and AM2 for a AM3 as ddr 3 is on its way to be the norm within the next year....



i agree, ddr3 memory will be here in the next year.

shadowmaster wrote:Take note of the trendlines on SSD's. Within 2 years it will cost $300 for blazingly fast SSD RAID performance.

i agree also. some boutique computer maufactureres are ALREADY using ssd's for the OS drive and seeing boot times between 5-8 seconds.

so ya, future proofing a computer now is kinda tough.
February 14, 2008 8:48:22 PM

colonelblake said:
so ya, future proofing a computer now is kinda tough.


I always figured that future proofing was tough, no matter what era. Doesn't matter what you buy or when you bought it, a year or so later it was outdated. After three years, whatever you bought is a dinosaur. I'm happy enough if a major piece of hardware makes it through three years.
February 14, 2008 8:58:44 PM

Future-proofing a PC is possible for a couple of years, but you have to be diligent in the timing of the purchases. The key is to buy at the start of a product generation, not towards the end.

For example, a PC from late 2006 (let's say an E6600 and 8800GTS) would still be considered a more than reasonable gaming machine, even by todays standards. Both these products were at the beginning of the development cycle. It will take until Nehalem and a GeForce 9 series card to fully 'obsolete' such a system. By the time that happens, it would have been a full 2 years of said system 'keeping up' with the performance curve.
February 14, 2008 9:16:01 PM

The 5000+BE is $89,The 6000+ is $111.
The Corsair ram is onsale every other month for $29 for 2X1GB.
So you can get a large boost/upgrade for low as $120.

The 8800GTS (G92) is down to $258 last week from Tiger.
February 15, 2008 5:50:59 AM

4200+ to 6400+ is a great upgrade.

Anyone who says differently is giving horrible advice and hasn't owned both.

5000+ BE has same L2 cache as 4200+.
February 15, 2008 6:16:25 AM

Sorry Jonn, we dont know what you do with your computer so we cant possibly give decent advice.
If the most taxing thing you do is some light to medium gaming, blow the wad and get a 3870x2.
BTW, if you are still using windize XP 32 bit, or vista 32 bit, 4 gigs of ram will not do you any good. Stop @3 gigs. Anything more than that, and windoze does such a mess of it that it's slower than a page file.
February 15, 2008 7:02:06 AM

Better jump now it takes a while to swim to shore, By the time you get there you will have to swim back to the ship because you will find you landed on the wrong shore with cannibals. :kaola: 
February 15, 2008 7:15:02 AM

Go ahead and jump, there is a nice big air conditioned life boat waiting to take you to a bigger better ship full of shrimp and naked women.
February 15, 2008 9:09:01 AM

TechnologyCoordinator said:
A dual core might be stretching it for three years out when hopefully software will be more multithreaded.

If your motherboard is capable of a Phenom, I'd wait for B3 and drop one of those puppies in there.


And here I was about to tell him that his best bet, technologically, is to go Intel on a motherboard that should accept Nehelem down the line. Is that only the X48?

He's not asking for the best bang for the buck upgrade for what he has, but is willing to switch companies and buy a new motherboard. If he doesn't have social ethics issues with Intel, then going Wolfdale in a completely new build is the way to go.

Me, I'll buy Intel when regulators ensure that Intel pays for their OEM rebates, not before. By then, AMD might even have viable budget 45nm Swifts with one R700 core and 3 flawless clocked up Phenoms. Right now, he's in a situation similar to me, I have that 4600+ 65 watt Windsor, which will probably CPU limit the 3870x2.

Just ordered the 650 watt Antec Neo with the 6+2 PCIe connector so I can finally install the card when it arrives Tuesday. To ensure that there's enough cooling, I also ordered the Antec Nine Hundred case, which was $109 with free shipping. I missed the $50 rebate on an Antec TPQ 850 by one day, so I didn't get that.

Maybe neither of us are fanboys, we just get irritated at AMD and/or Intel?

Unless one has issues with a particular company's policies or practices, then the best tech at the start of a generation is the best futureproofing, so a Wolfdale is great. I've been tempted to leave my modder wife out of my hippie tiff with Intel and get her a Q6600, because she needs a quad core, whereas I don't. If Wolfdale era quad cores are a couple of months away, then I could get her one of those instead.

All I want is a Phenom free of errata and core flaws that's as close to 3 gigahertz as possible. I don't overclock but I am concerned about being CPU limited. That might even be the case when I get a 20" LCD monitor next month.
February 15, 2008 9:44:12 AM

yipsl said:
And here I was about to tell him that his best bet, technologically, is to go Intel on a motherboard that should accept Nehelem down the line. Is that only the X48?


Nehalem will require a completely new platform. No current or future S775 board will support Nehalem. Wolfdale/Penryn is the end of the line for S775.
February 15, 2008 10:09:05 AM

True. If budget is not a factor, go Intel all the way, no questions asked.

The only reason I mentioned waiting for B3 was because you could save your motherboard. B2 is crap, don't buy it.

yipsl said:
And here I was about to tell him that his best bet, technologically, is to go Intel on a motherboard that should accept Nehelem down the line. Is that only the X48?

He's not asking for the best bang for the buck upgrade for what he has, but is willing to switch companies and buy a new motherboard. If he doesn't have social ethics issues with Intel, then going Wolfdale in a completely new build is the way to go.

Me, I'll buy Intel when regulators ensure that Intel pays for their OEM rebates, not before. By then, AMD might even have viable budget 45nm Swifts with one R700 core and 3 flawless clocked up Phenoms. Right now, he's in a situation similar to me, I have that 4600+ 65 watt Windsor, which will probably CPU limit the 3870x2.

Just ordered the 650 watt Antec Neo with the 6+2 PCIe connector so I can finally install the card when it arrives Tuesday. To ensure that there's enough cooling, I also ordered the Antec Nine Hundred case, which was $109 with free shipping. I missed the $50 rebate on an Antec TPQ 850 by one day, so I didn't get that.

Maybe neither of us are fanboys, we just get irritated at AMD and/or Intel?

Unless one has issues with a particular company's policies or practices, then the best tech at the start of a generation is the best futureproofing, so a Wolfdale is great. I've been tempted to leave my modder wife out of my hippie tiff with Intel and get her a Q6600, because she needs a quad core, whereas I don't. If Wolfdale era quad cores are a couple of months away, then I could get her one of those instead.

All I want is a Phenom free of errata and core flaws that's as close to 3 gigahertz as possible. I don't overclock but I am concerned about being CPU limited. That might even be the case when I get a 20" LCD monitor next month.

February 15, 2008 10:29:44 AM

Yeah, I agree with yipsl.
As much as I like intels performance and power consumption, I will simply not support a company that plays the corporate games like they do, against fair competition, against innovation and against fair prices.

This is why I now have a Gigabyte 790X MB, with an athlon 64 X2 3800+, and a radeon 3850. Soon I will buy a phenom. (either B3 or 45nm)

The only reason I could ever buy intel again, is if intel paid AMD a large summ of money, compensating for the losses caused by intels retarded business practices in 2000.

Not counting on that though.
a b à CPUs
February 15, 2008 11:37:10 AM

Gee i must be weird thne because i am jumping ship from Intel to AMD :p  Awaiting 780G motherboards with that DX10 integrated graphics and B3 phenom or possibly toliman x3 for a 'phentop' heheh
February 15, 2008 12:26:17 PM

Jonn said:
Have an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ system with 1GB of DDR2-667. Want to upgrade and weighing my options. My easiest upgrade path would be straight to a 6400+ and 4GB of Corsair DDR2-800. This would cost about $225 after the mail-in rebate on the memory. I will throw in an 8800GT or 8800GTS regardless of the CPU and memory, so I am not weighing that.

But, I am concerned that the 6400+ is not the best bang for my buck. I could go alternate route, which would involve an Asus P5-NE and either an E2160 overclocked to 3.0GHz or an E8400 overclocked to 4.0GHz, same memory. This would be quite a bit more expensive, but all of the benchmarks that I can find suggest that either one of these systems (particularly the E8400) would be in a completely different class than the 6400+.

The end result that I am looking for is a system that will be "future proof" for at least the next 2-3 years. My feeling is that the E8400 Wolfsdale with 4GB will be all the power that I can use and then some until the next major release of Winblows. The P5-NE supports Core2Duo Quad chips as well, so I could always pop in a Q6600 or one of its successors with a BIOS flash later on. I just don't see the 6400+ keeping up with the curve. Is my thinking wrong?


But 2GB of DDR2 and your new 8800GT/8800GTS Video card.
Then Test Performance.
At that point consider upgrading your CPU/Mobo Combo.

CPU is not the most important factor in game performance.
This will not be wasted funds since you were making these purchases anyway.
February 16, 2008 7:07:06 PM

Jakc said:
Yeah, I agree with yipsl.
As much as I like intels performance and power consumption, I will simply not support a company that plays the corporate games like they do, against fair competition, against innovation and against fair prices.

This is why I now have a Gigabyte 790X MB, with an athlon 64 X2 3800+, and a radeon 3850. Soon I will buy a phenom. (either B3 or 45nm)


My gaming jones is arguing with my social conscience. I'll be getting that 20" LCD next month to go beyond 17" CRT gaming, but I am tempted by a 3.0 Wolfdale when the extra tax rebate arrives in May or June. It's all because I got a 3870x2 instead of a 3870. So, supporting AMD via ATI tempts me to ditch Phenom for either a Wolfie or a Q6600!

AMD just has been slow in getting things out the door. When I needed a new PC in February 2007, 690G wasn't out yet, so I got an MSI Nvidia 405 barebones and replaced the power supply. Then, I upgraded to 690G. Now, 780G with power saving modes won't be out until March.

B3's aren't out, we don't know if there's a flaky core that will allow triple cores to have higher clocks than quads, once the flaky core is disabled. AMD promises 45nm Phenom's with higher stock speed and better thermals much sooner than they promised last year, so it may not be worth it to get a triple or quad core B3 this spring, if 45nm arrives in the fall.

AMD is aiming more for the notebook market this year and seems to be relying upon Big Box stores and OEM's like Emachines and Gateway for their limited desktop market. That disappoints the enthusiast in me, but I only blame them so far.

Jakc said:

The only reason I could ever buy intel again, is if intel paid AMD a large summ of money, compensating for the losses caused by intels retarded business practices in 2000.

Not counting on that though.


I can't see them winning everywhere; in Korea, Japan, New York and the EU. Microsoft might have beat the antitrust cases, but Intel's OEM rebate program is a clearer regulatory issue than stifling browser competition. Including your own broswer in an OS does not prevent the competitive browsers from entering the market (witness Firefox's success as a free product).

Bribing OEM's with rebates and then warning them they'd face a limited supply of Intel parts if they carry over a certain percentage of AMD based products is old fashioned anticompetitive skullduggery. The only skull trail that interests me right now is the one leading to the skeletons in Intel's rebate program closet.

Darn it, Intel does have better tech right now.
February 16, 2008 7:55:55 PM

skittle said:
Go ahead and jump, there is a nice big air conditioned life boat waiting to take you to a bigger better ship full of shrimp and naked women.
Hope they don't smell the same,LOL
February 16, 2008 8:38:10 PM

I would say go with a B3 CPU like TC said. Basically, no point in buying more DDR2 if it's on it's way out. You would be best served to just drop in a quad AMD if it will work with your mobo. Drop it in for under $200, and then sometime in the future, you can do a complete system build.
February 16, 2008 9:20:01 PM

weskurtz81 said:
I would say go with a B3 CPU like TC said. Basically, no point in buying more DDR2 if it's on it's way out. You would be best served to just drop in a quad AMD if it will work with your mobo. Drop it in for under $200, and then sometime in the future, you can do a complete system build.

Word,I was thinking of doing a complete rebuild, but after my restore fiasco from the last time, I think i want to just drop in a b3 phenom, I can go with that for a year or two, until amd gets there **** togehter, or until intel goes hypertransport. I have decided that my gaming need can be met by a ps2 and ps3, so I just be using it to encode video, use photoshop, and run my emulators. I will miss my sweet x2 5600(overclocked to 3.2ghz) cause it fast, but more cores are better cores.
February 17, 2008 12:20:49 AM

If it were me, that's what I would do in your situation. If I already had an AM2 setup that would take a sub $200 quad core, I wouldn't have any objection to that. Otherwise the bill goes up, and fast. New memory would be best, new motherboard, and a new CPU. $500 to $600 minimum would be about what you would get away with for a Q6600, motherboard, and new memory. I just don't think the performance difference is worth an extra $400 atm.

If I were doing a complete new build, it would be Intel. But, I would have a hard time justifying a complete new build, even recycling what I could, if I could get a quad for under $200.

That's just me though, and to each his own.
a c 127 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b } Memory
February 17, 2008 12:25:23 AM

weskurtz81 said:
If it were me, that's what I would do in your situation. If I already had an AM2 setup that would take a sub $200 quad core, I wouldn't have any objection to that. Otherwise the bill goes up, and fast. New memory would be best, new motherboard, and a new CPU. $500 to $600 minimum would be about what you would get away with for a Q6600, motherboard, and new memory. I just don't think the performance difference is worth an extra $400 atm.

If I were doing a complete new build, it would be Intel. But, I would have a hard time justifying a complete new build, even recycling what I could, if I could get a quad for under $200.

That's just me though, and to each his own.


Well he could just use the memory he currently has even in a completly new build. Just a Intel mobo and a Q6600. Or he could try a Phenom but thats a risk he will have to take on his own.
February 17, 2008 2:05:48 AM

1) Games and office software -still- use the old P4 CPU rateing.
3Ghz is enough to run anything they sale at "high end" according to the specs on the software box.

2) The guy wanted to know which would be a better upgrade...a cheap yet vast boost for $120 (CPU+Ram) or,as most people saying,"Build a whole new system".

I fail to understand how a whole new system is cheaper/better deal at this point in time when all he wants is a few more years of life for as little as needed.
In the real world...haveing 4 cores does not make games run any faster than 2 cores does or haveing a 64 bit OS.

February 17, 2008 7:03:08 AM

ZOldDude said:
I fail to understand how a whole new system is cheaper/better deal at this point in time when all he wants is a few more years of life for as little as needed.


Well, you can always sell off your old parts on Ebay to offset some of the cost. That's what I usually do with my older hardware, I sell if off whilst it still has some value. No point keeping it until it's an antique.

For example, let's say the OP sells his X2 4200+/mobo/RAM for $100. With that money, it's already 1/2 way to building a decent budget E21x0 platform.

Compared to buying an X2 6400+ for $150 (and then selling the X2 4200+ for $50) the total money output ends up about the same, and the E21x0 has the potential to overtake the X2 6400+ after overclocking.
a c 127 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b } Memory
February 17, 2008 8:17:53 AM

ZOldDude said:
1) Games and office software -still- use the old P4 CPU rateing.
3Ghz is enough to run anything they sale at "high end" according to the specs on the software box.

2) The guy wanted to know which would be a better upgrade...a cheap yet vast boost for $120 (CPU+Ram) or,as most people saying,"Build a whole new system".

I fail to understand how a whole new system is cheaper/better deal at this point in time when all he wants is a few more years of life for as little as needed.
In the real world...haveing 4 cores does not make games run any faster than 2 cores does or haveing a 64 bit OS.


A 6400+ will not last 2-3 years. I have an old P4 system and yes it runs most programs very well but when it comes to gaming it is going to change. Everything is going towards multi-core and in 2-3 years a quad core will benefit more than a 6400+ will.

Its up to the OP but if he wants to make a system last that long upgrading just the CPU & memory wont give the boost he is looking for. I still say the E8400 will make a great choice along with the 8800GT.
February 17, 2008 11:43:27 AM

get phenom black edition to blow away the existing intel quads in every dimension. it will be at least 40% faster across a wide variety of workloads
February 17, 2008 12:00:39 PM

Sharikook said:
get phenom black edition to blow away the existing intel quads in every dimension. it will be at least 40% faster across a wide variety of workloads

Come on Dude!, no matter what your favorite platform is outright lies are not cool, like TC says, just the facts.
February 17, 2008 12:13:36 PM

Sharikook said:
get phenom black edition to blow away the existing intel quads in every dimension. it will be at least 40% faster across a wide variety of workloads


I love the way all you Intel fans love to bash AMD for marketing. It's the pot calling the kettle black. Pure and simple.

Here are the facts:

AMD admits a TLB errata with B2's that affect virtualization.

B3 65nm Phenom's will correct the errata, and even B2 Phenom competes moderately well at only 14% below a Q6600.

They beat many Wolfdales and Conroes in Supreme Commander while losing to Q6600 and other Wolfdales and Conroes. They are midrange in many non gaming apps.

http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/13/wolfdale_shrinks...

Future games will utilize more cores, like Supreme Commander today, so a quad is a good idea for holiday 2008 games, and I'll admit Intel has the best quads today.

Here are the suppositions:

There's a bad core 2 in Phenom's that limit overclocking. Supporting evidence lies in the report that triple core B2 Phenom's will be clocked higher than quad cores. Expect this to continue with B3, and not be corrected until 45nm. Oddly enough, this makes a triple core Phenom clocked higher than 2.6 a budget gamer's dream, even if it's an enthusiast overclocker's nightmare.

Wolfdales have temp issues when overclocking. This is up in the air as the software used, or the bio's involved might not be reporting temperatures correctly. Still, Intel has not really supported overclocking in the past and may be screwing up when allowing for more overhead to attract enthusiast gamers away from AMD.

Intel is rumored to have issues with 45nm quad cores that it took them awhile to fix. When those issues are corrected, they should still clock higher than B3 quad core Phenom's and they should overclock well, but possibly with thermal issues (that's not stopped Intel before).

AMD won't be able to compete on the desktop until 45nm Phenom's ramp up clockspeed and provide better thermals. They will be able to compete on the notebook market with 10 watt 780G boards using a 65 watt 1.8 gigahertz Phenom 9100's (but wait for a B3 9150).

Final facts:

It's not all wins for Intel in all areas, and it's not all losses for AMD.

If the market were all enthusiasts, then desktops would not be underselling notebooks.

There are other definitions of enthusiast than simply choosing the fasted CPU based on benchies of a 2 year old FPS and then overclocking that CPU mated with the fastest Nvidia card.

I'm an enthusiast too, and even the Phenom's do well in apps that I use. As Supreme Commander shows, quad cores are the future (near future IMHO) of games, so a dual core Wolfie might be obsolete by year end compared to Penryn and 45nm Phenom quad cores.

So, if you are a gamer, here's my advice:

If you like Intel, go quad core, even if all you can afford is a Q6600.

If you like AMD go Phenom triple core, but wait for B3. If you want quad core, wait for 45nm.

ATI beats Nvidia in many games, but loses mainly in the dying OpenGL. I bought my 3870x2 based on The Witcher as a preview of it's performance in CRPGs.

Both AMD and Nvidia have chipsets arriving which beat Intel's in many situations. I like the fact that Nvidia promises power savings by enabling IGP on even high end cards, but I like the upcoming 4xxx series from ATI, and 780G will provide hybrid Crossfire for low end card owners and power savings for high end cards. ATI really should do this for all boards: there should be a 790G too.






February 17, 2008 12:27:07 PM

I have a little bit of a problem with this thread right now....

Let me explain...

When AMD was winning the processor of the world award with the 64bit processor we future proofed our system with it.

I have one question with that.... How many people, programs and hardware supported 64bit processing within the next 3-4 years???

Get what you need now and its that simple...

I can't believe how well my rig is for gaming and processing and I am not even using it to its abilities yet. I am not running any 64bit software or such.

3.5years ago I built a 3000+ with a 6600gt w/1.5g's XMS and that build is still potent enough for todays applications.

Oh well... computing sure is a never ending war.
February 17, 2008 12:55:10 PM

zloginet said:
I have a little bit of a problem with this thread right now....

Let me explain...

When AMD was winning the processor of the world award with the 64bit processor we future proofed our system with it.

I have one question with that.... How many people, programs and hardware supported 64bit processing within the next 3-4 years???

Get what you need now and its that simple...


Oh well... computing sure is a never ending war.


64 bit isn't the right comparison. The number of cores used is. Right now, even for gamers, a quad core is a sure bet. Supreme Commander isn't going to be a fluke. That game even benefits from the lousy Skulltrail (but wait for native 8 core from Intel and AMD instead).

We probably won't see a requirement for a 64 bit OS until Microsoft's next version of Wndows. Developers were unhappy that Vista even had 32 bit versions. We do see a sudden jump in late 2007, early 2008 in the number of applications that support more than 2 cores.

Besides, I wasn't talking about 3-4 years. The time frame in my opinionated estimates are up to 2 years. I predict most games in holiday season 2008 will benefit from a quad core. Since Intel quad cores should be overclockable, they will beat the current crop of dual cores in those games. Even AMD 45nm parts at stock 3.2 will beat many Woflies and Conroes.

If you want the fastest now, then go Wolfdale dual core, but be prepared to upgrade this time next year. If you wat a 2 year window then go quad core. If I'm wrong by year's end, then remind me, with the best flame you can come up with. At any rate, I do not think I'll be wrong by summer 2009, and I won't be wrong by holiday 2009.

How long do you guys keep your CPU's? Let me guess, I'll be told that true enthusiasts upgrade their CPU every year and their GPU every 6 months. Yeah right. Who's buying your tech and what other expenses are you ignoring if you buy it yourself?

Take with a grain of salt, but the Inquirer weighs in on 45nm Phenom vs. either Yorkies or Bloomfields by years end. AMD is still expected to be 15% behind, but they might be more overclockable than the 65nm parts. If not, I'm sure that AMD will find a way to ramp up stock clocks by Swift. Whatever the case, 45nm Phenom will be what 65nm Phenom should have been.

http://www.theinquirer.net/gb/inquirer/news/2008/02/05/...

I'm also a little bit skeptical regarding any single core, Athlon 64 or P4 Cedar Mill, in any current game. Most benefit from 2 cores, and we know the OS does. That doesn't mean it doesn't work. That legacy Prescott I set up temporarily can still run everything, it just doesn't run it well compared to my Athlon X2 4600+.
February 17, 2008 1:09:43 PM

I am an AMD guy myself until last year when I built my E6550 system it just blows me away.Never experience such an awesome computer.
a c 127 à CPUs
a b À AMD
a b } Memory
February 17, 2008 8:06:15 PM

yipsl, 2 things here. The 14%its losing out to the Q6600 looks bigger considering the Q6600 is 18 months old compared to the Phenom. That looks bad. Its like if a 2 year old P4 Northwood would have smashed AMDs A64. Would have just looked bad.

Also, I would love to see where you get you AMD 45nm 3.2GHz chip info at. If AMD can get 3.2GHz on SOI @ 45nm they would be amazing. I really doubt it as even Intel looked into going SOI but found that after 65nm it starts to cause way too much leakage and when adjusting for that leakage it causes clock speeds and performance to drop.
February 17, 2008 8:48:18 PM

Stay with AMD, the competition drives prices down. and get a ATi card too
February 17, 2008 8:50:54 PM

Regarding 3.2 with 45nm, I said take it with a grain of salt. It's the Inquirer and the link's in my last post.

I don't see 14% behind a Q6600 to be a failure. The Phenom was delayed. It was priced just enough below a Q6600 to make up for the difference. B2 still didn't make it a perfect deal, and no overclocker would want to touch it, but it's not all that bad.

The Inquirer article expects 45nm Phenom at 3.2 to be behind a 3.6 Yorkfield at launch, which is why AMD stresses Swift and notebooks more than desktops over the next couple of years.

AMD will come back, but may not catch up:

Quote:

Based on the existing benchmarks, a 2.6 GHz DDR2-800 Phenom 9900 is, on average, 15%-20% behind 2.66 GHz FSB1333 Yorkfield Q9450. Assume that, on aver age, the above mentioned 3.2 GHz 45 nm AMD part would perform some 35% better than the Phenom 9900 - a generous allowance, shurely. Also, give the 3.6 GHz Intel, say, 30% extra over the Q9450.

The result, after a bit of rounding: Intel would still be some 10% - 15% faster, except for the memory benches. And that ignores completely at least two major steppings they'd do in such period of time on the Penryn dies - if the 65 nm history is any guide, we should expect at least a 10% direct frequency jump at the same voltage or even TDP in that process, with corresponding high-MHz yield increases.

If that is taken into account, we're then talking about 4 GHz high end " extreme" Yorkfield parts, and 3.2 - 3.6 GHz mainstream range, easily by September. And, all this completely ignores the Bloomfield, mind you.

In summary, the quick 45 nm delivery by AMD will definitely help them be more competitive in the mainstream - keep in mind the lower power consumption as a big plus. However, unless they can quickly ramp up the speeds towards some 3.5 GHz or so by yearend, I wouldn't call it a full comeback - yes they will "come" , but, performance wise, they will still look Intel in the "back"


Hope that shaker of salt didn't raise your blood pressure all that much. I take 3.2 at 45nm as a goal, not a given.

Regarding your defense of Intel through questioning whether SOI leads to anything at 45nm:

Quote:

One of the biggest debates in the industry today is over the need for SOI. Intel and Texas Instruments have publicly stated that they see no need for SOI, while others, such as IBM and AMD, which collaborate on technology development, say SOI is essential.

"AMD made the move to silicon on insulator quite some time ago, at the 130 nm generation," Sander said. "We decided that it was something that was important for us to embrace for the advantages that we could get from it for performance and power that we've implemented in our Athlon 64 and Opteron family of processors. We plan to continue to use SOI technology at the 45 nm node."

Sander said that he believes the industry will at some point move to a fully depleted transistor. "This structure leads to superior transistor characteristics that are needed for the future. SOI leads very naturally into fully depleted structures and is also probably the right substrate for most 3-D transistor implementations. It's also a unique substrate structure to do some inventive things such as the hybrid orientation transistors reported by IBM."


I trust IBM on this. If it was just AMD, then I'd be cautious.

http://www.semiconductor.net/article/CA490110.html

February 17, 2008 9:20:47 PM

That article is over 3 years old.
February 17, 2008 9:46:32 PM

I'd buy the extra RAM, a good video card, and see how you like it. If you're gaming then what's really going to make the difference is the video card, and then more RAM, then the processor. At least that's what it seems like to me. But if you buy a good card and some RAM and you still aren't satisfied with performance then you can move to Intel and take those parts with you.
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